Pleated denim with minimal cut

For this stand draped design I used the same pair of Levis from an earlier set of experiments. The jeans had been cut up the inside leg, on both sides, cut up the centre back and cut off around the top of the thighs.

I didn’t use all of the jeans in this one, there was one leg fully intact (which could be worked in to a different garment). None of the fabric was cut away, so if the remaining leg was used elsewhere, this would satisfy my zero waste experiments that I have been trying to adhere to.

For this design I started by chalk marking the jean legs ag 2cm intervals, then ironed the pleats in following the chalk lines. I pinned the seat of the jeans (upside down) on to the stand, having the centre back at the front (this would need a sturdy button and buttonhole to fasten this together). I shaped the jeans at the back by pleating at the waist. The original fly fastening (at the back) could either be zipped closed, for a more fitted look, or left unzipped.

For the pleated back feature I first attached the pleated to the front, then secured the pleats in place down the back. These would be stitched down to a certain point (as seen by the pins in the photograph) but the stitching would stop near the armholes, allowing the pleats to naturally span outwards. The bottom of the pleating would be top stitched onto the bodice.


The overall shape of this top had a science fiction feel to it (another accidental H R Giger!) However, the main bodice would need a lot more consideration as it looked quite shapeless and bulky on the stand.

It wasn’t a design of great beauty, to say the least, but I thought it had an interesting shape. It was also good to move forward from the earlier pleated paper experiments to try draping a pleated panel of a much sturdier denim fabric on the stand, to see what it would do in contrast to much flimsier paper.